“Grassroots Agenda” Starts With Jobs

Hundreds of residents came together December 3rd at the City-Wide Community Leaders meeting to identify and find collective solutions to New Haven’s most pressing problems. In a packed school cafeteria, people from across New Haven held small group discussions framed by some common questions about what they thought the city’s priorities should in the coming year.

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Senate passes SustiNet compromise bill

A compromise bill on the proposed SustiNet state-run insurance plan passed the Senate 22 to 14 Monday, clearing the way for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s signature.

SustiNet supporters cheered and hugged in the hall outside the Senate chamber after the vote, despite warnings from Republicans that the bill did not resemble the universal health care plan they had sought.

The bill does not commit the state to offering insurance to the public, although it does not rule it out. Instead, it establishes an advisory board called the SustiNet Health Care Cabinet to address health policy issues, including an examination of alternatives to private insurance, and an Office of Health Reform and Innovation to coordinate state and federal health reform efforts.

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Connecticut Senate approves health care pooling bill

The Senate on Monday gave final legislative approval to a bill that allows municipalities and nonprofit agencies to sign up with the state of Connecticut for health insurance for their employees, retirees and dependents.

The bill, which is supported by many advocates of a universal health care system, passed on a 22-14 vote.

It requires the state Comptroller to offer coverage through the so-called “partnership plan.” State officials estimate nearly 578,000 municipal employees, retirees and their dependents could join the new plan, and more than 174,342 people from the nonprofits.

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Church Street South Tenants Organize

Carbon monoxide from faulty furnaces drove Esther Martinez and Charleen Ortiz from their homes this winter. They have since returned home as leaders of a door-to-door organizing effort to give the 300 low-income families there a voice—and place to return to—when the Church Street South housing complex is rebuilt as a mixed-income development.

The private complex of 301 federally subsidized apartments across from Union Station is owned by Northland Investment Corporation of Boston.

Frequently referred to as “The Jungle” by local people and long a trouble spot for drug dealing and shootings, Church Street South is the target of a makeover into a mixed income development in a project launched by Northland, the city and the federal Housing and Urban Development Department.

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“We Are One” March & Rally

On March 30, 2011 thousands united to speak out against attempts to scapegoat working people for an economic crisis they did not create. Speakers offered alternative visions of economic recovery based on putting people back to work, and demanding more from those who have been bailed out and profited so greatly while the bottom 99% of earners are forced to shoulder more and more of the burden. The We Are One rally was part of a wave of demonstrations for good jobs across the country that were inspired, in part, by attacks on workers’ rights in states such as Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana.

UNITE HERE President John Willhelm fires up the crowd at the culmination of the “We Are One” march.


Check out these articles on the We Are One march: